Stragglers

Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers will entertain local area residents with Appalachian bluegrass music on Thursday from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at Crook Farm as a prelude to the Crook Farm Country Fair and Old Time Music Festival.

Bradford Landmark Society is gearing up for the 40th year celebration of its annual Crook Farm Country Fair and Old Time Music Festival, and music-lovers can get a sneak peak of some old-timey music at an event Thursday at Crook Farm.

Thursday’s event will feature a potluck at 5 p.m., an open community jam from 6-7 p.m. followed by Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers from 7:30-9:30 p.m., who will be energizing the stage with an eclectic combination of old-time, bluegrass, rockabilly and swing music known as Appalachian bluegrass.

The Crook Farm Country Fair, also known as Crooktop, will be held from Aug. 22-25. This year’s festival theme is Pennsylvania fiddle tunes.

It is “a gathering of top-notch local and regional talent presented on the main stage, the song tent, workshop area and the various jams around the farm. Many folks come to listen, and many more simply come to play music and jam with their friends,” said Howard Blumenthal, music festival organizer.

Blumenthal describes the festival as a “relaxed atmosphere” which “encourages spontaneous jams where musicians learn from each other, while workshop areas provide a more formal setting for improving musical skills.”

There will be numerous activities throughout the event, including concerts on the main stage, educational workshops, old time round and square dancing, impromptu jam sessions, Sunday morning gospel sing around, instrument swap and free rough camping.

The historic buildings at Crook Farm will be open for tours during the festival, including a carpenter shop, blacksmith shop, candle shop, weavers shed, one-room schoolhouse, and farmhouse. Over 60 vendors will be participating in the event, selling crafts, food and instruments.

Two new workshops this year will include Pennsylvania Tunes from Rural Valley and Armstrong County Fiddlers at 2 p.m. Aug. 24 and Hillbilly History at noon Aug. 25. These workshops may “interest folks who want to learn more about the history of music, plus the history of the Pennsylvania Fiddle Tunes,” Blumenthal noted.

General admission is $5 and free for musicians and children under 12 entering the fairgrounds. Those attending don’t have to leave Fido at home, as the event is dog friendly.

For more information and a detailed schedule, visit http://www.crooktop.com.

(Editor’s note: This article focuses on the musical side of the Crook Farm Country Fair and Old Time Music Festival, but more on the Bradford Landmark Society’s annual fundraiser will appear in a future edition.)

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